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Golf Academy

Play Golf like Rory McIlroy at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes

Everyone’s talking about Rory McIlroy right now with his big win at the British Open. He even got the coveted Sports Illustrated cover, which is rare for any golfer other than Tiger Woods. Here at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we like to teach golfers how to improve their game and love to take a look at some of the pros’ best techniques.

According to our Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, Rory McIlroy is known for his rotating swing. When you look at the completion of his swing, his right shoulder is over the left leg and past the left shoulder rather than stopping the rotation.

How can you learn that technique? Weaver suggests naturally tossing a ball toward to the left of the target line almost at a right angle to get the feel of it. He says it translates into better compression of the ball, which you’ll hit clean and far. Watch this video of Weaver demonstrating:

In a recent article, Golf Digest also noted McIlroy’s outstanding putting at the British Open where he made 20 birdies and two eagles and one-putted 34 out of 72 greens. The article notes that his putting coach Dave Stockton teaches players to “begin to set their stance while looking out at the line -- not at the ball.” At the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, we offer eight hours of putting instruction every week to help you work on that aspect of your game.

The Daily Mail’s Tony Jacklin says, “Rory’s technique is fabulous, showing that golf is nothing to do with size but all about speed and balance and rhythm and skill. It’s magical to watch.”

Weaver offers some tips for putting like McIlroy in this video filmed at the oceanfront 10th hole at the Robert Trent Jones course at Palmetto Dunes:

Of course, if you want to be like Rory, it doesn’t hurt to use Nike clubs and wear Nike apparel, too. The Palmetto Dunes golf pro shop at the Robert Trent Jones golf course is one of only six Nike Golf TTC Concept shops across the U.S. where you can find plenty of Nike gear.

If you want to learn to play like Rory, look no farther than the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. Call us at 866-650-4130 to schedule your private lesson today!

The Importance of Club Fittings to Your Golf Game

Hilton Head golf club fittingsAccording to Palmetto Dunes professional club fitter Rod Thompson, going through a club fitting is a “no brainer.”“It’s like a custom suit,” he says.  “A $1,000 suit from Brooks Brothers will fit different than a $100 suit off the rack from Joseph A. Banks.” 

Thompson is actually one of an elite group of Plane Truth instructors throughout the nation, meaning that he had to serve an apprenticeship under Jim Hardy of the Plane Truth Golf Institute in Houston, Texas. Thompson has been certified for 10 years and he’s up to a level 2 out of 3. 

 “I do the fitting and always start with the irons because the ground is going to give me a lot of information,” says Thompson. “Also my eyes will show me the ball flight and my ears are going to tell me how it sounds. A lot of information comes out of a club fitting.”

 Thompson feels it’s better to get a person’s swing a little oriented before starting a fitting. He also prefers doing it outside where true ball flight analysis can be calculated. “The tall and short golfers are very likely going to need something,” he says. “Golf clubs right off the rack probably won’t work for them because their bodies aren’t normal in proportion, regardless of their swing shape.” 

Thompson, a native of Orchard Lake, Mich., turned professional at the age of 18 and eventually became a head pro at Burning Tree Country Club in Michigan. He started making golf clubs in 1986 while at Kenwood Country Club in Maryland, which is where he honed in on ball flight. 

“If I saw that a swing was working but the ball flight told me something different, then that threw up a red flag,” Thompson says. “That’s what got me into fitting. Golf clubs are expensive so it’s important that they fit. I like to say, ‘clubs that fit better hit better,’ and they really do. Women, juniors and seniors in particular usually need fittings and I do the fitting complimentary.”

According to Thompson, it’s all about ball flight and impact. “It’s fun for me,” he says.  “But I also know it’s especially fun when you are the person who is getting properly fit!”

Palmetto Dunes offers free club fittings based on availability at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course. To schedule your fitting with Thompson or for more information, call 866-650-4130.

Enjoy Family Golf Activities at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes During July’s Family Golf Month

Hilton Head family golf lessons We love kids here at Palmetto Dunes and we like to keep them busy with our many kid-friendly activities like surfing, tennis, kayaking, swimming and fishing. But golf is especially near and dear to our heart since we have three amazing and varied Hilton Head golf courses all inside our beautiful resort.

PGA America and the National Golf Course Owners’ Association have declared July Family Golf Month in an effort to promote golf as a fun, family recreational activity that lets you spend uninterrupted quality time together.

"Getting the family together for a round of golf, whether it’s nine or 18 holes, is a great outdoor activity that gives parents the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations and quality time with their children," says PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "It's also a great way for the entire family to enjoy golf's health and wellness benefits while creating memories for a lifetime."

So how can your family enjoy golf at our South Carolina golf resort? Ah, let us count the ways!

Family Golf School
We offer three-day, two-hour private golf lessons designed specifically for your family at our Hilton Head Family Golf School. We’ll meet everyone at exactly their skill level and help them improve their game. We love this video showing a mom and her daughters during their Family Golf School lesson!

Kids Play Free
To encourage our golfers to teach the game to their kids, we let kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate. This is a great opportunity to expose your kids to the game and enjoy some one-on-one time with each other!

Junior Tees
We’ve also installed permanent junior tees on our Robert Trent Jones golf course, and the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. This makes it easier and more fun for junior golfers!

Junior Golf Lessons
We also have a variety of Hilton Head golf lessons for juniors, including our Little Swingers program designed for ages 3-7. Director of Instruction Doug Weaver teaches the game of golf while singing songs with the kids.

Our Junior Golf Clinics for ages 6-18 focus on golf fundamentals like golf shots, etiquette and rules. Weaver covers three different shots every day, and four-time attendees are rewarded with a Junior Golf School Manual.

Lastly, if you have a junior gofer who’s top of the class, enroll him or her in the Advanced Juniors Classes for ages 8-18. These kids get to play with a pro and get instruction as they go!

Make your love of golf a family affair at Palmetto Dunes! To sign up for any of the above golf lessons, schools or clinics or for any questions, please call us at 866-744-7558.